HOWARD COUNTY, MD — A 27-year veteran of the Howard County Police Department has been named its new leader. Lisa Myers will officially become the county's new police chief on Feb. 1.
County Executive Calvin Ball announced that Myers would lead the department after Police Chief Gary Gardner retired Dec. 31, 2018. She will be the first female police chief in the department's history and its first African-American chief.
“I have dedicated my career to the Howard County Police Department and I look forward to leading the agency with transparency and accountability,” said incoming Chief Myers in a statement on Tuesday, Jan. 8.
Myers has worked as a civilian staffer and as a sworn officer in the Howard County Police Department. She started in 1990 as a crime lab technician and entered the police academy in 1994, holding roles including chief of staff, watch commander, public information officer and youth services supervisor.
To head up the police department as its 13th chief, she is returning to the force after retiring in January 2018 as the commander of the human resources bureau. In that position, she oversaw employment services and education and training, according to Howard County government.
She has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Coppin State University and is a member of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association and National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.
“I had the opportunity to work with Lisa Myers in several assignments throughout her career and believe she is a great choice to lead the police department,” Gardner said in a statement. “As I retire, I am glad to leave the agency in capable hands and know she will continue to build upon the police department’s history of excellence.”
Myers is "committed to community policing and making all of our communities safe,” County Executive Calvin Ball said in a statement.
“Lisa treats everyone in our community with respect, dignity, transparency," Ball said, adding that she displays a "consistent willingness to go ‘above and beyond’ to be helpful and a constant vigilance to keep us all safe."
Watch the announcement on Jan. 8:
"The appointment of Lisa Myers shows how far Howard County and the Police Department in particular have come over the years. I’ve watched Lisa grow during the course of her career and I’m confident she will do an outstanding job,” said Herman Charity, first African-American officer in the Howard County Police Department.
The Howard County Police Officers’ Association threw its support behind the appointment of Myers for the job.
"Chief Myers is a great friend who has worked alongside many of our members throughout her career. She is a principled, proven, and highly-respected leader. She brings with her a tremendous intellect, a compassionate spirit, and a genuine desire to improve the lives of all who live or work in Howard County," President of the Howard County Police Officers’ Association Christopher Davis said in a statement.
Myers is the second woman to be appointed a public safety chief in Howard County in the past month. Howard County Fire Chief Christine M. Uhlhorn was named in mid-December as the first woman to lead the department.
“I am ecstatic about the selection of Lisa Myers as the first woman and African American to lead the Howard County Police Department; representation and diversity matter,” said Council Vice Chair Opel Jones. “In addition, and equally important, Chief Myers is extremely qualified and well respected by her colleagues. I believe we are one of the only jurisdictions in the United States of America with women leading both our police and fire and rescue departments; absolutely amazing!”
According to The Baltimore Sun, Myers plans to conduct a review of emergency preparedness as one of her first tasks.
Photo of Lisa D. Myers courtesy of Howard County Government.